Sanhedrin 10 - Split Testimony

If someone says, "A certain person cohabited with my wife," (a sin for which both parties are liable to the death penalty,) he and another witness can join in testifying against the adulterer, but not against the adulteress. A man is considered a relative of his wife, and a relative cannot testify. Even though he testifies about one act, we believe him regarding the adulterer, but not regarding his wife. This principle is called "we split the testimony".

Cases of lashes are decided by three judges: "... And they (the judges) shall judge them ..." gives two judges as the minimal number of "they," and since a court consisting of an even number of judges is not acceptable, one more judge is added. Rabbi Ishmael requires twenty three judges, based on the use of the same word "evildoer" in "... evildoer liable to lashes ..." and in "... who is an evildoer to die ."

Art: Gustav Klimt- The Kiss